- $15.95/750 ml
Cider – it's everywhere, at least if one frequents establishments that cater to the under-30 crowd. I blame Gwyneth Paltrow, who named her first child Apple, but whatever. Most cider is forgettable, simple and pop-like, as though it had come from a tap. Nothing seriously wrong with that; it's just not worthy of discussion, like so many mass-produced beers.
Then you come across more serious juice and the popularity explosion begins to make some sort of sense. This is marvellous stuff from the organic and biodynamic Niagara wine producer Southbrook. Bone-dry (hooray), it comes across like brut Champagne, but it's made differently. The apple juice was added to yeast left from a white-wine fermentation, then bottled and left to finish fermenting under pressure, much as happens with bottle-conditioned beer. No sugar added (and none necessary), hallelujah.
Bottled at 7-per-cent alcohol, it's moderately effervescent and delivers a tart-applesauce essence. And it's much cleaner than most funky farmhouse ciders. Available direct, southbrook.com.